Adam Graham
November 27, 2012
The American crisis: it's not just a political problem, it's an educational problem
By Adam Graham

I wrote in a previous piece that the problem that has led America to its current state is not just a political problem, it's a spiritual problem. While this is the primary truth, our current situation is also an educational problem.

The traditional public school system in America is wrought with liberal bias. On a recent program, Rush Limbaugh complained about teachers attacking Republicans while praising Obama. If such ham-handed tactics were the only problem, educational bias would be a minor issue.

In reality, it begins at kindergarten and goes up into post-graduate studies. It permeates every step of the education process from which behaviors and lifestyles are declared accepted in the classroom, and what the danger to humanity is as a result of climate change, what authors are studied in Literature classes, to the teaching of bogus history lessons that leave people believing that there were no Communist spies in American government or working for the Soviet Union and that Bill Clinton was impeached for adultery rather than for perjury and obstruction of justice

Of course, this is not to say that every American public school teacher is an agent of propaganda or even a liberal (indeed teachers are far more divided than NEA contributions will indicate). It's fair to say that a great many teachers would rather inform and educate rather than propagandize. And there are thousands of public schools throughout America where one may note exceptions, but there can be no doubt reviewing most public school curriculum that the overall thrust is to make the student a certain type of person: a liberal.

How Liberals Rule the Roost

One can probably explain liberal bias by starting at the college level where liberalism dominates, particularly in the social sciences were you'll find one Republican for every ten Democrats. Young college students are impressionable minds who look up to their instructions, many of whom enjoy tenure and have no problem pushing their politics on the students.

In addition, liberal instructors systematically establish a culture that is not interested in conservative ideas. Within the liberal mindset, conservative ideas are not just wrong. They are bigoted, homophobic, cruel, and draconian. Conservatives do not generally choose their careers in order to be agitators. They simply desire to earn a living and make a life for themselves.

Conservatives faced with such a negative environment will either choose another career or will keep their head down and simply teach the curriculum they've been assigned. (Which usually contains enough liberal propaganda.)

The Shortsighted Conservative Response

Education to conservatives is a matter for parents and children. So the conservative response to liberal bias in education has generally followed the path of creating and encouraging alternatives to public education, often through school choice.

Much good has been accomplished this way. Well-run charter schools have created less bias. And the best Christian schools have sought to build Christ-like character in students. Homeschoolers, in addition to high academic achievement, also tend to whole political and religious beliefs closer to those of their parents than their public school educated counterparts.

The problem with the conservative strategy of relying on these efforts those is flawed because not only is school choice very hard to implement but the vast majority of the American public will be far more likely to send their kids to their neighborhood public school for two reasons.

First of all, public schools are in that oldest sense of the word, conservative. People feel fealty to the system because it's a traditional American way of doing things. Towards the end of the 19th Century, the mother of Jimmy Durante wanted to enroll young Jimmy in Catholic school. His father vetoed the idea telling her that in America every one goes to school together. The idea of everyone from every background in the same geographic area learning together appeals to deeply-ingrained democratic notions of the American people. It also ties into feelings and memories of adult voters when they went to school.

Conservatives has almost been completely ignorant of this emotional tie-in in the course of most campaigns for school choice and for education reform. Conservatives would like to pretend that it comes down to nothing more than student performance and basic parental rights in education. Unfortunately, Americans have a very strong collectivist strain over public education.

The second reason is a matter of convenience. The neighborhood public schools will always be convenient for busy parents. Many charter and private schools don't even have school buses requiring parents to provide transportation. The neighborhood schools are always going to provide the less fuss and difficulty.

While school choice is laudable, it is not a cure for educational bias. If full school choice were available, it's almost certain that eighty percent of kids would continue to go to neighborhood schools and receive the same liberal bias that helped produced Barack Obama's victory.

Conservatives need a gameplan for public education if they're to have any shot of stopping and reversing the liberal indoctrination in schools.

Solutions:

Start a Public School Teacher Recruitment Organization:
There needs to be conservative organizations working to recruit people into the teaching profession and to provide networks for conservative teachers. Such an organization could help the process by providing subsidies and assistance to conservatives retraining and entering the teaching profession.

Intelligent Conservatives Need to Be Active in School Board Politics: School Board elections are some of the most deplorably attended affairs in American politics. School Boards are charged with overseeing the educations of America's young, yet exist with no public responsibility. The only time most people become involved with their school board is if the school board does something colossally dumb. Otherwise these elected results remain unknown to the people who are suppose to elect them. If conservatives understand the seriousness of who runs the school board (regardless of whether your child goes to public school or not) and mobilized consistently, they could begin to make inroads.

I say intelligent because some conservatives run for school boards entirely with the goal of implementing their own agenda rather than serving the public. We need conservatives who will understand the needs of their community, build rapport with parents and students before implementing big changes. The reason why the few conservative efforts to change school boards have gone awry is that too often, students will be plunged immediately into controversial like sex education and intelligent design. Some wisdom is really needed in establishing rapport.

Parents Need to Be Active to the Point of Being Annoying in FIghting Liberal Nonsense: Madeline Murray O'Hair became famous for her atheist crusade against a non-sectarian school prayer. The problem with conservative parents is that the kids school is just about getting the kids their basic knowledge. They don't want to protest, they don't want to mess with the kids future. This is nice but it's basically allowing an entire generation of kids to raise up believing in Statism, secularism, and radical environmentalism. Parents, even if they can't homeschool should be very intentional about first, equipping their kids with truth and the ability to challenge propaganda in respectful way.

In addition, parents need to be challenging curriculum, they need to be reading everything their kids are reading. I get how parents just want things to be nice and peaceful for their kids, but the left is not being nice and peaceful. They have turned the schools, funded by tax dollars that every parents pays, into propaganda factories. If they are not challenged, they will dominate this country and ultimately create a worse future for all America's children. The time has come for parents to take a firm stand for what is right and true in public education.

© Adam Graham

 

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Adam Graham

Adam Graham was Montana State Coordinator for the Alan Keyes campaign in 2000, and in 2004 was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Idaho State House... (more)

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